When it comes to what our children eat, most parents try and make sure that their offspring’s diet is as wholesome as possible. Sometimes that can be a thankless task! It’s not easy with fussy kids and busy lifestyles. While there’s no harm in the odd treat or sugary snack, it’s best to stick to healthy foods.
But did you know that some of the foods that you thought were good for your family could actually be harming your children’s teeth?
Everyone thinks of dried fruit as a healthy snack. One portion counts towards one of your essential five a day. They’re an easy and convenient way of getting energy and vitamins on the go. Throwing in a handful of dried fruit to soups, smoothies and salads, dried fruits are a simple way to get more nutrients in your little one’s diet. The downside is, they aren’t so great for your mini-me’s molars.
Juicy, sweet and bursting with flavor, citrus fruits are high in acid which can damage tooth enamel. Easy peelers such as satsumas and clementines may be favourite snacks, but they aren’t always the best choice for your child’s teeth. There are lots of popular fruits which you may not have realized were highly acidic. These include strawberries, pineapples, kiwis and tomatoes.
Fruit juice and Smoothies
A tasty and delicious combination of fruits blended up; smoothies pack a great nutritional punch. Easy to drink and usually slurped through a straw, smoothies and fruit juices can cause havoc with a child’s dental hygiene. Teeth have prolonged exposure to all of the things that can cause decay. Smoothies contain little particles of semi-blended fruit and seeds which can get stuck between teeth. These can cause hidden cavities and discolouration. Pediatric dentistry clinics have seen a rise in children needing treatment for these defects. This is made worse when children don’t brush their teeth thoroughly.
Ready made muesli bars may seem like a healthy convenience food, but have you ever read the label? The reason they’re so full of energy is that these delicious bars of oat and fruit are packed full of sugar and glucose syrup. Not only do these high-calorie additions enhance the taste, but they also act as a high-carb filler to bulk the bars out.
The great news is you can minimize the risk of damage to teeth by taking just a few simple precautions. Only eat acidic food like oranges and other citrus fruits at mealtimes. Eating these potentially damaging fruits less frequently is key. The teeth then have a chance to repair and remineralize with the salts that naturally occur in your saliva. Make sure your kids brush their your teeth eating sugary or acidic foods. This minimizes the amount of time sugar and other nasties have to attack your enamel. Make sure your children are brushing their teeth properly. You can read about other ways to help look after your family’s health in our complete guide right here.